Technical Ski Examination

A Pass in this Examination is a Pre-requisite to the Ski Guiding Training Course. It is a Pass/Fail examination.

This is an assessment of personal skiing ability in a pass/fail situation. It covers off-piste skiing in difficult terrain and in a variety of challenging snow conditions.
* Snowboarders are welcome on this course, however they must do Level 1 Ski course using a split board, and Level 2 Ski Course on skis.
A successful pass on the Personal skiing evaluation section of the NZSIA Stage 1 Course or other overseas equivalent will be accepted as an equivalent pass to a Technical Ski Examination, subject to ratification by the Technical Subcommittee.
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Special notes
Participant notes:
 1 - Participants are to ski/ride with a backpack of  equivalent heliski guide pack Weight (7 kg)
 2 - Course held primarily within or adjacent to ski area boundaries
Guideline to standards:
Participants are required to ski:
- Competently and safely in all snow conditions and on all terrain
- Short, medium, and long radius turns rhythmically and at all speeds.
Prime importance is placed on:
- Continuity of turns
- Speed control
- Blending of skills to match situation
- Balance
- Technical consistency.
- Skiing skills should be sufficient to take part in a Ski Guide Level 1 Course and work as an Assistant Ski Guide.

Competence level:
At the end of the assessment, the assessor will provide a summary of strengths and needed improvements. The assessor will be looking at competent and safe skiing in all snow conditions and all terrain at a standard that will enable successful participation in a Ski Guide Level 1 Course.

Location, timing, and length:
Usually, this one day assessment will take place on a major ski field in July.

Schedule - Technical Ski Assessment :
Each topic is marked pass or fail and all three must be passed. Each topic consists of a series of exercises. All criteria need to be passed to pass each topic. Falls and mistakes are only considered if they are due to a recurring technical problem, as opposed to a one-off error.

1. Free riding
1.1     Maintain a consistent turn radius as specified by the assessor.
1.2     Demonstrate a smooth transition from a series of long radius turns to short radius turns and back again.
1.3     Ability to emergency stop when riding at high speed
1.4     Demonstrate linked pure carved turns.
2. Off-piste/steep/- difficult conditions
2.1     Linked short defensive turns maintaining constant control on slope over 45 degrees.
2.2     Maintain control and consistent progress in difficult conditions (including, but not limited to breakable crust, ice, avalanche debris, etc).
2.3     Linked turns in confined terrain including, but not limited to, chutes, gullies, couloirs, etc
2.4     Move at high speed through difficult but appropriate terrain/conditions.

3. Situational performance
3.1     Participants demonstrate a high level of riding endurance throughout the day by maintaining control and pace, i.e. continuous riding and uphill fitness.
3.2     Judgement demonstrated in moving through unrideable terrain (e.g. kick turns in steep terrain, safe removal of gear, etc)
3.3     Judgement demonstrated on jumps and obstacles in steep terrain.

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Analysis of Topics - Technical Ski Exam
1. Skiing - free skiing
Key skills:
Exhibit rhythm, flow, and control in a variety of snow and terrain conditions; to have the ability to change technique to match conditions.

Throughout the day in all terrain and snow conditions.

Participants should be able to show speed control and balance appropriate to the conditions; linking of similar turns; ability to slow down and stop under any snow and terrain conditions.

2. Skiing - off-piste/steep/difficult conditions

Key skills:
Ability to ski defensively and in control; appropriate speed in difficult snow conditions such as breakable crust or ice; ability to handle steep terrain.

Selected slopes.

Ability to exhibit consistent stability on chosen terrain.

3. Skiing - situational performance

Key skills:
Ability to use appropriate blend of skiing skills and judgement in practical situations.

Assessors will select relevant ski manoeuvres, for example, aiding a client in trouble, kick turns on steep ice, and emergency stops.

To accomplish specific ski guiding related tasks in a skilled manner; to evaluate the participants’ situational judgment of their own ski abilities.
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Assessor Requirements
There are minimum assessor requirements:
1 – NZMGA Level 2 Ski Guide
2 – Current or previous NZSIA or equivalent fully certified instructor
3 – Attendance on latest NZMGA Technical Ski course assessment seminar

Assessor notes:
Safety on steep terrain
Function over form
Ski area queues disrupt endurance testing
Ski catching
Judgement defined relevant to participant’s own ability
1:6 max ratio
Catching a falling skier to be taught but not assessed
Assessors need to be familiar with course terrain before course begins